Tin Lung Heen, Hong Kong (Two Michelin star, 2016)

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This restaurant is conveniently located in our hotel and has an excellent view. We had wanted to sit by the window and thought we secured a table by the window, but there was a miscommunication and we weren’t able to get a window seat.

Of course we weren’t too happy about that, as the whole point of us going to the restaurant is for dimsum with a view. However, the manager came over to explain, apologize and finally offer us a glass of champagne each and whatever dessert we wanted on the house. Pretty nice of them I thought, and it turned out well since there was absolutely no view that day due to the smog/fog that engulfed Hong Kong.

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Century egg with preserved ginger in a puff pastry. Interesting dish, the ginger and century egg seemed to melt together in the pastry. I think I still prefer century eggs as is with slices of pink ginger to go with it.

DSC08319Baked crab tarts with onion and cheese. This was one tasty morsel! The tart was buttery and flakey and everything a truly well made pastry should be. And how could one go wrong with onion and cheese in a tart?DSC08324Polo char siew pao with barbecued Iberian pork. While the filling of barbecued Iberian pork didn’t give much to admire, the pastry was to die for! It had a delicate crusty exterior, slightly sweet, and crumbles charmingly upon biting into it. Coupled with the Iberian pork filling, this easily became my favourite dimsum dish of the day.IMG_2707Look at that perfection!

We also ordered the normal steamed char siew pao with barbecued Iberian pork, but without that delicious polo pao exterior, it was just another char siew pao for me….only fluffier.IMG_2716Xiao Long Bao. The skin on this is not as thin and delicate as the one at Marriott in KL, but the filling is much better. Good flavour and texture on the meat and a lovely soup.DSC08331This was my dining partner’s favourite dish of the day. You can hardly see the siew mai here as the abalone and prawn outweighs the pork base, but the siew mai itself is large and substantial. It had a very satisfying mixture of marinated pork and some mushroom, and even eaten alone, it doesn’t disappoint. Now, add the luxurious topping of a perfectly cooked, crunchy prawn and a tender braised abalone – the humble siew mai then undergoes a delightful transformation. This is a basic dimsum elevated and improved by doing the basics right and pairing it with well cooked ingredients that complement it.DSC08334Complimentary jelly and sesame biscuitsDSC08343No dimsum is complete without egg tarts!!! I loved the egg tarts! The pastry chef at Tin Lung Heen is excellent, seeing that all the pastries were stellar. Warm, buttery, flaky and fragrant – this describes all the pastries that we had that day. This egg tart was no different. I could have eaten a plateful of these tarts. IMG_2718Double boiled milk with birds nest in ginger. This was really good too, very good marriage of milk and ginger. The gelatinous birds nest also has a nice texture to it, and is neither stringy nor tough.

All in all a great meal and good experience. I must add that champagne also goes very well with dimsum!

Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒
102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon MTR)
Tel: +852 2263 2270
restaurantreservation.hk@ritzcarlton.com
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Mon to Fri), 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Sat to Sun)

Dress Code: No beach sandals, open toe shoes, sleeveless shirts and shorts for gentlemen

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RyuGin, Hong Kong (2 Michelin star, 2016)

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This was my surprise birthday dinner! Since I had completely ruled out Japanese restaurants while researching for restaurants to try in Hong Kong (good Japanese food does not come cheap in Hong Kong), I was completely unprepared but pleasantly surprised when I was shown in to this restaurant. Despite the glamour of its two Michelin star status, the setting was simple, save for a great view, it being situated 101 floors up. It claims to offer traditional but unique kaiseki cuisine. Unique it was indeed! And yet it retained all the clean, seasonal and delicate aspects of traditional kaiseki that the Japanese pull off so well.

This is the first overseas branch of the Tokyo restaurant, which boasts a full spectrum of Michelin stars.

http://www.ryugin.com.hk/about_e.php

We weren’t given a choice on the food. Everyone had the tasting menu.

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The tasting menu consisted of 10 dishes, which change according to season:-

  1. Cold noodles topped with white shrimp, caviar, abalone and abalone liver sauce
  2. Foie Gras flavoured with porto and wasanbon sugar served with fresh figs and sesame cream sauce
  3. Charcoal grilled Alfonsino with matsutake mushroom in ichibandashi soup
  4. Assortment of sashimi
  5. Charcoal grilled Amadai brushed with Miso-yuan sauce
  6. Cold Kegani crab egg custard with grated fresh apple vinegar
  7. Wagyu beef shabu shabu, lotus root cake and onion ponzu sauce
  8. Steamed rice topped with Ikura salmon roe
  9. RyuGin Specialty -196 °C pear candy and 99 °C pear jam
  10. Chestnut ice cream with roasted chestnut biscuits

IMG_2560We chose to have sake to go with our dinner and they presented us with a choice of sake cups which I thought rather lovely. Weakness for tableware.DSC08247

Chilled sake this time.DSC08251

First course: Cold noodles topped with white shrimp, caviar, abalone and abalone liver sauce

This to me was the star of the night! I’m not usually a fan of cold noodles but this blew me away. Something about the delicious salt brine of the caviar mixed with the sweet creaminess of the shrimp and dashi scented savouriness of the liver sauce coating those perfect cold noodles. The herbs, which I’m guessing is mitsuba, adds a heightened flavour to the dish and the abalone is cooked to a tender perfection. Now that I’ve tasted it, I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to satisfy my newfound craving for it 😦

IMG_2564Mmmmm….DSC08259Second course: Foie Gras flavoured with porto and wasanbon sugar served with fresh figs and sesame cream sauce.

I loved this as well, but it could be because I’m partial to foie gras. Popped the entire thing in my mouth. It tasted like peanut butter. Delicious but the foie gras to fig ratio could be better. The fig came dangerously close to overpowering the foie gras. Overall a nice mouthful (or two, the second is not pictured here).

DSC08261Third Course: Charcoal grilled Alfonsino with matsutake mushroom in ichibandashi soup

Now this is what I’d expect from a top notch kaiseki restaurant. This is quintessentially kaiseki to me. The soup is clear, clean and yet flavourful. Ichiban dashi just refers to the basic stock that is used in most Japanese cuisine, made from katsuobashi (dried bonito flakes) and kombu (kelp). I had to look up the Alfonsino’s more familiar Japanese name, Kinme. It’s a type of sea bream, thus its taste is of a white-fleshed fish with enough fat to keep it tender but not as fatty as the cod. Well balanced fish cooked just right with a lovely charcoal aroma from the very slightly charred skin.

DSC08264Fourth Course: Sashimi, standard offerings of hirame (I’m guessing here), akagai, hotate, ebi and saba sushi.

They’re all good and fresh, although special mention has to be made for the akagai and the saba sushi. I’ve not had the akagai cooked lightly like this before and I think it vastly improves its flavour and texture, making it easier to eat. The saba sushi is also done well, meticulously balancing the vinegar seasoning with the usually strong tasting fish. Absolutely nothing fishy about it, perfectly fatty and good use of seasoning.

DSC08270Fifth Course: Charcoal grilled Amadai brushed with Miso-yuan sauce

All I can say is that the chef knows how to cook his fish well. Juicy and thinly glazed, it has none of the cloyingly sweet miso glaze I was dreading when I first saw the menu. I also liked that crisp that came along with it, it’s like a healthy ikan bilis cracker.

DSC08273Sixth Course: Cold Kegani crab egg custard with grated fresh apple vinegar

This dish is your usual chawanmushi, except that its cold. The crab meat didn’t do much for me, and the orange stuff on top of the egg custard could be smoother. However I did like how it tasted of kaffir lime zest and juice, although it could have just been from the grated fresh apple vinegar. Interesting combination.

DSC08282Seventh Course: Wagyu beef shabu shabu, lotus root cake and onion ponzu sauce.

I thought this was good! My dining partner said it could be more tender. If it were done yakiniku style, with the same sauce and garnish, I think it would be perfect. Needed a little boost to further melt the fat, but delicious otherwise. By this time I was too full to do justice to the lotus root cake, but I didn’t really fancy it much anyway after taking a small taste of it.

DSC08284Eighth Course: Steamed rice topped with Ikura salmon roe

This is standard fare in kaiseki. The rice course comes out right at the end before dessert. While I’m not wowed by this course, I do love my ikura on warm fluffy rice rather than on cold, vinegared rice. Very satisfying and comforting along with the most delicious soup! The depth of flavour in this unassuming soup is unrivalled so far!

IMG_2576Ninth Course: the RyuGin Specialty -196 °C pear candy and 99 °C pear jam

It comes shaped as a beautiful, frozen pear which you tap and break into the insides before the waitress ladles the warm pear jam (which is more like poached pears) on top.

DSC08287I love pear and I loved how the differing temperatures of the two components came together in a pleasing mixture to show off the pear ingredient. Very clever. My dining partner is harder to please though.

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Tenth Course: Chestnut ice cream with roasted chestnut biscuits.

This tasted like chestnut ice cream, with chestnut shavings and roasted chestnuts cooked in some kind of alcohol. I loved this and would have finished the lot had I not been bursting at the seams. Dining partner didn’t seem to like it however. Not a fan of chestnut it seems (or the bill, since I didn’t pay for dinner hahahaha!!)

Conclusion, I really liked it! Fresh ingredients cooked well and on the mark, sometimes with a twist. The chef skirted with his cooking techniques, pushed boundaries and yet managed to execute the dishes with such finesse. The sake helped it all to come together I must say. And there’s nothing like an authentic Japanese meal to end a wonderful day.

I can’t speak for the value for money aspect of the dinner as I still do not know how much it cost. Ignorance is bliss.

Opening Hours / 12nn-3pm (Private Lunch Only) 6pm-9:30pm (Dinner Last Order)
Address / 101/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Reservation Telephone no. / 2302 0222
Number of seats / 48 ( including 2 private rooms, 1 for 4 guests and 1 for 12 guests)
Parking / 4 hours Free Parking

Peking Garden Hong Kong (1 Michelin Star, 2016)

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The Michelin Guide baffles me sometimes. I’ve eaten at Peking Garden before, and while I think it’s good, I’m not sure it warrants a Michelin star.

On my previous visit to Peking Garden earlier in the year, I tried some of the other dishes which I deemed to be pretty good. This time I came back to try their Peking duck dish, since I had a (rather expensive) hankering for it.

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I managed to satisfy my craving, but I thought the duck tasted a little gamey. I’m usually not squeamish about meat having a bit of that taste of the wild but this was a tad over. Plus, I prefer my Peking duck skin crispy and devoid of the heavy extra fat that this one had.

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Perhaps the meat could be more juicy and tender as well.

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This crab roe noodle was excellent though! I loved the chewy springy of the noodles coated in crab roe with a dash of black vinegar. Its a novelty, and absolutely my kind of dish!

Total damage for the two dishes:- HKD 816.2

 

Address: Alexandra Shopping Arcade, 5-17 Ice House St, Central, Hong Kong

Pan-fried Ham and cheese sandwich

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There’s now a recipe for a simple ham and cheese? Blasphemous!!! So it may be easy to slap some ham and cheese between two slices of bread and call it a ham and cheese. Indeed the basic definition of this sandwich is fulfilled.

I just took it a step further that’s all, with the specific use of a certain type of ham, cheese, bread and other additional fillings (cravings of the day) to make it taste a little more special.


Above Left: Mushroom pie (updated recipe for this to come soon!) topped with puff pastry)

Bottom right: Sinfully crispy ham and cheese

So without further ado, here are the basic ingredients:-

  1. Thick sliced bread – I used milk loaf as I love its softer crumb, delicate buttery flavour and large surface area. Large sandwiches make for a more impressive presentation
  2. Sliced ham – I’m not so fond of the traditional Blackforest ham used in a ham and cheese, so I replaced it with Mortadella ham (I was lucky to have some Truffle Mortadella ham so I made this a truffle themed ham and cheese). This option is entirely up to you, you’d know best your ham of preference after all.
  3. Salted butter for spreading
  4. Cheese – I used a mix of Emmental cheese and Gruyere. Although I have to say the cheese didn’t melt very well. I might try grating cheddar cheese and using that instead next time
  5. Optional – dijon mustard, truffle oil, truffles. I suggest you don’t mix mustard and truffle products though.

Preparations coming along. Cheese and butter at room temperature before use.

Butter one side of the bread generously. Get the butter into every nook and cranny and leave no surface unbuttered!

Flip the bread over and start to assemble your sandwich. If you’re not using truffle, spread some Dijon mustard onto the unbuttered side of the bread before layering your cheese on top.

Then add the ham, and more layers of cheese. As you can see below I’ve also added a couple slices of truffle and a little truffle oil before the final cheese layer. Yes, the picture is not the right way around. Oops.

Top with the final slice of bread, and butter the outer surface of the bread. Both sides of the sandwich have to be buttered as you will be pan frying it.

Place the sandwich in a frying pan large enough to fit it and turn the heat on very low. Slowly fry until the entire surface of the bread is an even dark golden brown. Then carefully flip the sandwich on its other side to fry the remaining side to the desired dark golden brown. Its got to be crispy but not burnt.

Once done, slide onto a serving plate, slice it up and serve!

Trust me when I say pan frying the sandwich makes a world of difference. It is not enough to toast the bread and butter it before assembling.

Quick and easy, yet it does look pretty presentable!

Shepherd’s Pie

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I’ve been itching to have a go at making this pie for a while now! What’s not to love about creamy mashed potatoes and a hearty thick lamb mince ragu all in a single bowl? It’s a pretty balanced meal is it not? Carbs, protein and vegetables? Let’s forget for a moment about the amount of cream and cheese that went into it and label it as the ultimate balanced meal.

Comfort food. Easy to put together. I will definitely make this again! The recipe calls for peas and corn as well but I made do without them since I’ve got a picky eater on my hands today!

Ingredients 

Meat Layer

  • Minced lamb – around 700 grams
  • 2 carrots, diced into smallish cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh English peas (if you’re feeling lazy there’s always the frozen mixed vegetables option which has carrots, corn and peas all in one convenient bag. Use 1.5 cups of the mix then)
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 3 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 3 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tbsps Tomato puree, have an additional 3 tbsps on hand if you prefer more of it in the ragu
  • 2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce – other recipes call for 1 tsp, I found it insufficient and ended to my taste, so add to your taste
  • 2 tbsps all purpose flour
  • pepper to taste

Potato Layer

  • 700 grams peeled russet potatoes approx.
  • 200 ml cream
  • 30g salted butter
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • fresh thyme leaves

Cooking Instructions  

  • Heat up butter in a large deep skillet on medium high heat
  • Add the chopped onions first, and cook until translucent and starting to caramelise.
  • Add the garlic and fry for about half a minute or so until that’s soft
  • At this point if the mixture is getting a tad too dry, add a little more butter. After which we can now put the lamb mince into the pan to brown. Break up the meat into small pieces (the smaller, the smoother the ragu will be, but that’s only if you like it that way)
  •  Mix in the vegetables, we’re only adding them now as we don’t want to overcook them
  • Sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over the mixture and give it a good stir.
  • Pour in the red wine, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and flour.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for a couple of minutes. The flour should thicken the sauce in the process.
  • Turn the heat off and cover with a lid.

  • As for the potatoes, place them in a large pot and cover with cold water
  • Add salt to the water
  • Bring to a boil. Once they are pierced easily with a fork, drain them. Check in about 10 minutes, if the potatoes are still resistant to the fork the leave for a bit longer. However, take care that you don’t overcook them. Don’t want mushy potatoes!
  • Press the potatoes through a ricer (or mash them by hand) and put aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the cream. Bring this to a gentle simmer before adding the potatoes to the cream and mixing it all up. Season with salt and pepper.
  • (Additional step:- you can put the mashed potatoes through a sieve to get rid of all the lumps for that smooth mash)

Ladle the ragu into your prettiest deep dish (one that is oven-compatible). Sprinkle a layer of cheese over the ragu.   Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the ragu like so.
After which you’re done. You can use a fork to create patterns on the mash which will turn out a little crispy after some time in the oven. My ideal meat ragu to potato ratio  is 3:1.

However, you can add more if you like your mash. Here, I decorated the top by squeezing the potatoes through a decorative nozzle.

Sprinkle some cheese over the top of the mash layer, and arrange some thyme leaves strategically into the top layer as a sort of garnish and for the fragrance.

Bake at 205 Celsius for around 20-30 minutes
Added some chopped chives before serving, just because I like chives.
  

Korean Chicken Soup

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IMG_6787 IMG_6793I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier post on how to make clear chicken soup. This recipe is similar except that there’s a lot more garlic and scallions in it. It’s a healthy dish and an easy one to make too. All you need is a little time to draw out the chicken essence into the soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (3 – 4 pounds) – some say that cornish hen works best but as I couldn’t find one, I used an antibiotic free adult chicken
  • 10 – 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 small piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into halves
  • 3 scallion stalks – white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (optional)
  • Codonopsis roots (very much optional!!! I only added this because I had it in hand but the traditional Korean chicken soup does not include any herbs – this excludes the famous Korean Ginseng Chicken soup which has young ginseng and red dates in it)
  • 3 Red dates, pitted (again, very much optional)
  • Extra chicken bones (optional)
  • 10 cups of water
  • 3 scallions – green parts, finely chopped to garnish
    salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instruction:

  1. The chicken has to be at room temperature before working with it. If you’ve kept it in the fridge, allow it to sit, covered of course, for half an hour at room temperature.
  2. Cut off the wing tips and the tail end. If the chicken came with its head and feet intact, cut those off too. I’m unfortunately squeamish in this area.
  3. Remove any excess skin, otherwise the soup will end up overly loaded with oil
  4. Remove giblets from the chicken cavity.
  5. Wash the chicken under running water and pat dry.
  6. On high fire, prepare a pot of boiling water (pot has to be large enough to fit all the ingredients with room to spare so that the water doesn’t come splashing out as it boils)
  7. Lower the chicken (and extra bones if you have any) into the boiling water and boil for 3-5 minutes before draining the water from the pot. This step helps to ensure further removal of impurities (blood, gunk, etc)
  8. Add the garlic, onion, white parts of the scallions, ginger and peppercorns (and only if you have it, the roots and the dates) to the pot. Lastly add the water. The water level should be at least 2-3 inches above the chicken as it will reduce during the cooking process.
  9. Bring everything to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer, covered for about 40 -50 minutes. During the cooking, skim off any foam that starts floating about on top. Otherwise you’ll have yourself some really murky looking soup!
  10. Remove the chicken from the broth and place into serving bowl. If you’ve used extra bones, continue simmering for another 30 minutes. If I were just making regular chicken soup, I’d be simmering the lot for 1.5-2 hours. Doing that would compromise the chicken meat but it makes for extremely flavourful soup. As this recipe goes, the chicken should not be overcooked, yet we need the soup to be flavourful. This is where the extra bones come in handy – you can boil those without caring if they become tasteless in the end!
  11. Add salt to the soup to taste.

To serve, you can serve the chicken and the soup in a large decorative soup bowl, garnished with the green scallions.

OR you can ladle some rice into a bowl, top with bite sized chicken bits and pour the soup in, topping everything off with the scallions.

I chose to eat mine with plain rice porridge and some kimchi. Seaweed would have been amazing too!

Maguro Tuna Avocado rice bowl (Maguro Avocado don)

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This is one super easy and delicious don! (don = rice bowl dish in Japanese). All you need to actually cook is the rice. The rest is all about slicing up the sashimi and avocado and assembling the rice bowl. Since the current trend now is all about clean eats, clean foods and healthy eating, I suppose this makes the cut (if you ignore the ubiquitous mayonnaise blobs popping up among the luscious chunks of creamy avocado and fresh maguro).
Ingredients (for 1 person)  

  • 100 grams sashimi grade maguro tuna
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
  • Mayonnaise – amount at your discretion, I used Japanese mayonnaise
  • Cooked short-grain white rice
  • 2-3 tsp soy sauce depending how seasoned you like your tuna
  • Optional (for garnish) – chopped chives, seaweed flakes and thinly sliced leeks (only the white parts). I would highly recommend you add these as they add texture, lots of flavour and freshness to the dish
  • Optional – 2 tbsp ikura (sashimi grade salmon roe)
  • Optional – furikake (a type of Japanese rice topping/seasoning)

Method

  • Slice up the maguro sashimi into thick chunks, I cut mine into 3/4 inch cubes but do it however you like.
  • Season the maguro with soy sauce and set aside.
  • Cut up the avocado into cubes/chunks roughly the same size as the maguro.
  • Place the rice in a bowl (if you’ve opted for the furikake, mix it into the rice before arranging the rice in the bowl) and pile the maguro and avocado on top.
  • Squeeze mayonnaise over the dish in zig-zag lashings or you can add them in blobs like I did.
  • Add the ikura and garnish with chives, seaweed flakes and sliced leeks.
  • Serve

I enjoyed it so much I had it again for the next meal… only in the sloppiest, most disgusting way one eats when alone:-  Still tasted amazing nonetheless!

DIY a birthday cake – pocky / pepero

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I was attempting to make a red velvet cake in time for a birthday… and then I was forced to realize that it’ll take a while, if never, for me to actually master a  red velvet cake to the standards of Just Heavenly (which has one of the better red velvets in KL that’s easily available to me). The decision was clear… since the birthday person is very particular about cake… that I’d have no choice but to buy the cake instead of making it at home.

The only problem is that Just Heavenly cakes have the most awful designs. Their red velvet cakes have the ugliest pink and white blobs on top with disgustingly coloured sugar bits. It all looks very artificial and old-fashioned.

So I ordered the cake from them and asked them to forgo the ugly icing on top and just give it to me plain. They still couldn’t resist but to stick chocolate squares on the side ;(

Well for this DIY cake, all you really need is a plain iced cake with icing all around the side (this allows the pocky/pepero to stick to the sides of the cake), and 8 packets of pepero/pocky – I used 7 packets of pepero with peanuts for a 6 inch cake. Of course you’d need more than 7 packets if you used pocky, since those pack more closely together. Other than that, you’ll require a piece of decorative string and fruits if you want to load the cake with it. It’s all up to you.
So this is the cake without the ugly pink frosting on top and chocolate squares stuck to the sides. I removed the chocolate squares and set it aside for later.
Remove the pepero or pocky sticks from their packets and trim them according to the height you’d like them to be when stuck on the cake. I just removed the non-chocolate covered bits.
Press each stick lightly into the frosting of the cake, and pack them as tightly as possibly next to each other.  Continue all around the cake until it’s all surrounded in a pretty wall of chocolate sticks.
Once that’s done, tie a ribbon around the cake to finish.As for the middle bit, I’d thought of piling the centre with fresh strawberries. Those make  for a beautiful cake. However since I needed the cake to last a while, I went without the fruit and stuck the chocolate squares in the middle instead.

Simple and quick way to jazz up a cake!

Roast vegetables 

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I suppose this isn’t so much a recipe, more of what works for me when it comes to sweet corn, young carrots and broccolini. An oven temperature of 200-205 degrees celsius is recommended for these vegetables, and a short cook time of 15 minutes in the oven (sweet corn has to be steamed 5 minutes beforehand).

A lot of recipes that I read require the vegetables to be in the oven for 45 minutes, but these vegetables would overcook and turn mushy. 15 minutes is perfect for them to retain some of their original crunch.

Carrots, trim the leaves off and use a small knife to scrape the surface of the carrot to clean. Rinse and pat dry. They’ll look like this after you’re done!
Cut up the corn into three sections and place into a steamer for 5 minutes. Pat dry.
Wash and pat dry the broccolini.

As I’ve repeatedly mentioned throughout this post, always make sure the vegetables are dry before seasoning and roasting. No one likes mushy vegetables!

To season:-

  • Sweet corn:- 2 tsp truffle oil per ear of corn and dash of salt rubbed into the corn
  • Young carrots:- enough olive oil to evenly coat a very thin layer of oil onto the carrots. Season with salt and sprinkle on some sugar (I tried honey, it didn’t work out too well)
  • Broccolini:- again, very thinly dressed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Lay out the vegetables on an aluminium foiled sheet tray and roast for 15 minutes at 200-205 degrees celsius.

Place the vegetables on a serving plate and brush the corn with some butter before serving.

This is a tray of roast vegetables which were cooked differently, also at 200 degrees celsiuse but for 45 minutes. Seasoned with olive oil (I suspect I didn’t add enough oil), salt, pepper and garlic powder. Not bad actually. I tried to keep the vegetables the same size as much as possible so they’d cook at the same pace. Will try this again with more oil!

Creamy mashed potatoes (pomme purée)

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Yes I know, there could’ve been a better picture of it. I should have done it justice and posted something that represents the texture and creaminess of it all.

As it stands, I’ll just post the recipe for it so someone else can have a go and take food magazine worthy photos of this decadent side dish.

So here goes:-

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 2kg Yukon Gold potatoes (washed and scrubbed)
  • 2 cups heavy cream or more just in case you like it creamier
  • 450g salted butter
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • You will also need a ricer for this recipe

Place the potatoes in boiling water and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook until tender (1/2 to 1 hour).

Drain and cool the potatoes.  Peel the skin off.  Pass the potatoes through a ricer.
This is a new toy of mine. It ensures that the mashed potatoes stay fluffy and airy since you don’t have to mash it do death by hand, and therefore it also keeps the potatoes from getting gummy.
Potatoes all pressed through the ricer!  Pour the cream into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Slowly mix/whisk in the butter until sauce is emulsified. I actually used more cream than what is stated in this recipe.
Then stir in the potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Eyeball the creaminess and add more cream if you wish.

After which, I sieved the entire pot of mashed potatoes. And the result? The fluffiest, creamiest mash ever!